Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas 2

I went to the Woodstock Fleece Festival back in October, and I got a beautiful Hand Maiden sock kit.  The vendors, Grand River Yarns, had demo knit up into a couple of scarves.  I loved it, and decided to get a kit to the do the same.

The kit consisted of Merino 2/6 sock (325m 115g) and Angel Hair (70%Kid Mohair 30% nylon, 400m / 50g) dyed together. 
One of those scarves is another Christmas gift.
Pattern: Variation on Feather and Fan
Row 1: Knit
Row 2&4: Knit 3, P to last 3 stitches, Knit 3
Row 3: Knit 3, *YO, K, YO, K, SKP, Center Double Decrease, K2Tog, K, YO, K, YO,K,* K2
I did 3 repeats across so 41 sts

Knit rows 1-4 with yarn A, then knit rows 1-4 with yarn B. 

Center Double Decrease: Slip two stiches together as if to knit, knit 1, pass slipped stitches over

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas knitting

Before all the Christmas knitting gets given away, and I forget all those little details, I really should write some blog posts.
First up - a pair of socks
I don't think I would use this yarn Louet Gems sport again for socks although it is beautiful, and the colours are rich.  I just think it it as tad to heavy for normal socks.
That being said let me present to you the Whitby Socks

Yarn: Louet Gems Sport - 100 g
Pattern: Whitby Socks - Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush
Changes: I added 4 more stitches - a purl on each side of the cable - as it was too narrow before

This was an enjoyable pattern, the knit/purl diamond between the two cables makes it so no counting is needed for the cable.  The pattern is difficult to  photograph though.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crusoe socks

Just a quick post about a pair of socks that I have finished
I had some rainbow sock yarn that was purchased in the summer, and I needed a pattern that would do those colours justice.  I remembered that I had sock pattern designed for this - Crusoe Socks.  I looked over the pattern, it called for KPPPM with a cast on of 44 stitches.  I read again, and a second time.  There is no way I am knitting a sock on 44 sts with sock yarn and a) have it fit an adult foot and b) not have so loose a gauge that it wears out quickly.  I decided to size up to 56 sts.  I used the not so scientific method  of "sounds like a good number".

I didn't try the socks on or measure them in any way.  I knit on.
When I was getting near the toes - I tried them on.  Could barely get them past my ankle, and seeing as the intended recipient has larger feet than me this was not going to work.  Surgery was performed above the heel flap, the stitches were picked up and then 4 was added - and the cuff was re knit at 60 sts. 

Lessons learn - if you pick numbers out of the air - check the fit with a foot or tape measure.

Final info
Yarn: Shelridge Farms Handpaint
Needles : 2.25 mm
Cuff: 60 sts, foot 56 sts
Pattern: Crusoe socks

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pooling and a method to fix it

Some people like how multicoloured yarn pools (or stacks), other people detest it and avoid yarns that would tend to do this. I am in the middle - a little bit of pooling on a garment is fine but when it gets too much it drives me crazy.

So when I started the MinO jacket and had knit a couple of inches, I noticed the pooling and decided that I would do something to minimize this. The most common method (and one that Fleece Artist recommends on other patterns of theirs) is to knit from two balls (or opposite ends of the same ball) at once. Knit one row, slide stitches to other end knit a second row with the second ball, turn and purl two rows back. Requires swing needles or circulars.

I decided to utilize this method, I joined the second ball, and knit away. However I didn't pay attention to where I joined the second end. Unfortunately, I had lined up the colours, so I continued to get pooling. I denied the problem figuring that since the colours should be coming in opposite order it would fix it self. I knit on. It soon became apparent that it wasn't going to resolve itself. I didn't want to rip out what I had already knitted.
  1. I had two yarns attached to the sweater
  2. I didn't want to cut the yarn but I wanted to alter how the yarns were placed
  3. I thought of intarsia and fixed the problem

What I did:
Green and blue represent the different yarns and the arrows is the direction of knitting.
  1. Knit all the way across the sweater in yarn A
  2. Knit across until there was about 20 stitches left with B
  3. Slipped those 20 stitches to the other needle
  4. Purl with A, 20 stitches
  5. Twist A and B together and knit with A to end
  6. Slip first 20 stitches to left needle
  7. Purl with B back to beginning
  8. Purl entire length of sweater with A
  9. Knit as normal

A couple of further thoughts on this method:
  1. It is a secondary method - you have to have two balls of yarn on the go (unless you join a second just for this)
  2. There is nothing magic about 20 stitches. You don't want 1/2 of stitches and you do have to slide the stitches twice. With this sweater I wouldn't go less than 20 stitches, but sliding 30 or 40 would have worked as well. My cast on was 140 sts, YMMV.
  3. You have no extra ends to weave in
  4. If pooling develops again, you can repeat this process
I was happy with how this technique stopped the pooling in the sweater, and wished I had figured it out sooner. The red arrow shows where I did the maneuvering.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I was going to write a post about the new sweater I am knitting for NB - MinO- which I have been loving. However, last night as I was working on another project I ran into a problem. So my dear readers you get some of my musings.
First the players:
The Yarn : Louet Gems Sport. 2 skeins of 100g/225 yrds merino, ball band gauge 22-24 sts/4"
The Intended: Christmas present for my SIL
Some background
  1. When I first bought the yarn I was thinking socks
  2. The yarn has been wound in balls for awhile now, since I was always going to cast on for socks with it
  3. My SIL saw the yarn and remarked how lovely the colour is, (I love colour as well)
  4. I cruised Ravelry and decided on Embossed Leaves - people have knit these socks with this yarn
  5. I don't know how the above was accomplished. I need size 2.0 mm(US 0) to get gauge and that hurts my hands. With a 16 st repeat I can't cut out a pattern repeat.
The delimina
  1. The yarn now is saying scarf/shawl to me - do I listen?
  2. Will the recipient wear the red scarf/shawllette? I know she would have worn the socks
  3. Do I knit her socks out of another yarn?
  4. Do I want to knit another red scarf after I just finished Sugared Pompa?
The ideas - feel free to toss others out there (all are Rav links)
  1. Boneyard shawl
  2. Red Skies at Night
  3. Drop Stitch Scarf
  4. Flower Basket Shawl
  5. Herbivore

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sugared Pompa

I am not done all of my catching up yet, but thought I would pause here to post about a recent FO.
Pompa by Ann Hanson
This is a quick lace knit. The pattern is very intuitive and is easy to memorize. The result though is lovely. The columns of bars are created with YOs, instead of dropped stitches as in Clapotis, so if your yarn is sticky(mohair anyone) it won't be a problem.

The yarn I used is Sugar Rush by Queensland collection. This yarn is made from sugar cane and has a sheen to it. At 125m/50g it is a dense yarn for a sport weight yarn. I wanted a pattern that would be able to handle the weight and I think this project does it. I used most of two skeins (knots near the edges and wanted to finish a pattern repeat). This gave me a scarf that is 15cm x 134 cm. I thought that 4 repeats across would be too wide and I was happy with the size this gave me.

I also got some blocking wires which I will be using more of in the future. Lace blocking is much easier - especially if you want those straight edges.
Complete Rav details here


Just a quick post to show a recent picture of NB in his Tomten jacket.

He was not in the mood to stay still.

Monday, October 12, 2009


It is hard to write a dishcloth project up into a blog post but here it goes. Evelyn Clark, the designer of the Flower Basket shawl, designed a dishcloth pattern with a greyhound on it, a few days after seeing the pattern, a request went out for donations for a Greyhound raffle fundraiser. I of course put the two together and volunteered to knit some for charity.

I downloaded the pattern, looked at it and there was no chart. It was written out line by line. I thought about it and went, this isn't going to work I need a chart - isn't that funny how we get set in our ways. However, thanks to Ravelry I had come across a link to a chart generator, I went and dug up the post and checked out the links, created my chart.

After making the chart I proceeded to make 6 dishcloths, not being a big dishcloth knitter I didn't realize how little time it takes to knit these, and ran out of yarn while I was on vacation - so what is a knitter to do but to make an intarsia dish cloth with some of the leftovers.

If you ever need to generate a chart, this is the one I used
Chart Gen.
However, I have also found these tools but have not fully tested them out: Jacqui's Knitting Chart Maker, Chart-A-Rama, and Knit Pro 2.0. Chart Gen, Chart Maker and Chart-A-Rama all translate written instructions into a chart - each one has a slightly different input mechanism and format that it wants. Knit Pro takes a jpg or gif and turns it into a chart (I have not used this site). However I may in the future.

When I was working on the Serenity socks, I went back to Chart Gen and charted the instructions for the leaf on the heel.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

More FO or Catch Up Part II

So after I posted the finished socks last week, I thought I should update my side bar with the information that I was currently working on. I realized that those three items listed as my WIP were finished and I didn't even mention they were done, they had been done for so long.
First up,
Tomten Jacket by EZ.

This jacket is part of what made EZ such a great designer. I finished this jacket back in April, it fit NB then and here it is the October and it still fits him - although differently.
This was the first time I had used Shelridge Farms yarn (the blue) and I loved it, it was soft on the hands and holds up great to the washing machine. The black is Merino et Soie and is also a great DK weight yarn. This sweater has gotten lots of wear and will continue to get more wear during the fall.

Next up was the decision to finish the Bianca jacket. I went with the dark brown buttons with flex of gold. I have worn this jacket a few times and I think I will wear it some more know that fall is here.

The Celtic Vest barely got started in the last blog session and now it is done and has been worn. I couldn't figure out the cast on - which turned out to be the long tail cast on but using two balls of yarn instead of a long tail. Easy to figure out once I got past that. This was a quick knit but I wish that I had knit it longer - hard to judge with a sideways knit when the instructions state it will grow with blocking.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Socks II

So to finish playing catch up on finished socks .

In June I wanted you to use some of my Sockotta yarn to knit socks, this would be vacation/beach knitting and working on wool in July was not on my list as good plans (as it turns out I could have done it for most of this July).

In the skein this yarn I didn't think it was very busy so I choose Cachoeira from Knitty as a pattern. It had been on my queue so why not. After doing a pattern repeat I realized why not, it is very hard to see the pattern. After the heel turn I switched to stockinette and then the socks just flew off the needles. The pattern was great just not a match to the yarn. If I wasn't away I probably would have switched patterns or took more time to choose the initial pattern. Oh well, the socks are comfy. More details on Rav

The last pair of socks in this FO parade is the Jayne's Serenity Socks. These started as a sock blank that I dyed at WWKIP day in New Hamburg. The base yarn is Shelridge Farms Soft Touch. It was fun to see how the transitions occurred in the sock compared to the blank. I think the next blank I will do I will make the stripes more on a diagonal so there is a more subtle graduation. I was happy with the dye job overall.

The pattern I used for these socks is Serenity by Nikki Van De Car, there was a few confusing bits but that was easily straightened out. I enjoyed the cabling, and had the large cables cross in opposite directions on each sock - well except where they were miscrossed. Those got left in as nothing is for sure in the 'Verse.

I had some yarn left over which went into little socks for NB. He loves bare feet though so it will be fun getting a picture of those socks. I mostly let him have bare feet unless we are going out in the cold.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Some acquisitions

I thought I would take a break from my list of FO to show you some of the lovelies that came my way over the summer.

First up, there was a "yard sale" that I attended that just to pare down Heather's stash. I came back with Shelridge Farms Ultra Handpaint - enough for 3 pairs of socks, 3 skeins of Noro Cash Iroha, Fleece Artist merino sock yarn, and some novelty fluff that can will make some nice warm mittens.

This was followed by a trip to Saskatoon, where some lovely (so soft and warm) bison yarn, Sugar Rush - made from Sugar Cane, and some hand dyed sea silk came back to Ontario with me.
I don't know yet what I am going to do with the Bison yarn - besides pet it and exclaim to everyone how great it is. Sugar Rush is a dense yarn 125m/50g for yarn that has wpi similar to sock yarn, holds colours beautifully. This yarn is being knit into Pompa which I think will hold the weight fine. The yarn just slides through your fingers. I thought it might be splitty but I am not having problems with it. The sea silk reminds me of an iris - this is for a yet to be determined pattern.

That brings the acquisitions to the KW Knitters Fair. This year was the first year that I didn't go with a list of things that I was planning on knitting. I decided to be just be fluid about the purchases. The one thing that I did get that was on my list was some buttons for Slinky Ribs. I got some pretty buttons made of Deer Antler they are made by John Galda of AB Originals.
There was also a Fleece Artist kit to make NB a sweater called MinO - it looks like it is going to be a fun knit. There was also two very different skeins of purple bamboo blend sock yarns that were purchased. There was Dye Versions Bamboo stretch which is 93% bamboo and 7% lycra. The second is Painted Fleece Bamboo/nylon blend, it is shinier and silkier than the Dye Versions yarn. Both of these yarns were fairly new to the dyers.

Next up to the stash enhancements will be the Woodstock Fleece Festival - although there is some pressure about going to Rhinebeck.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I have been knitting

Just not blogging.

I was remarking to Sarah that I really should write a blog post, and she commented that I did have lots of finished items to share.
That is true,
Bianca is done, - I ended up going with the dark brown buttons.
Inset socks - done
Dad's Diamonds -done
Serenity socks -done
Coalicheria socks - done
Greyhound dishcloths - six done for charity
Slinky ribs - almost done buttons, blocking and ends woven in
Celtic vest

This post will be devoted to the socks that I have finished and I will try to talk about the other projects later this week.
I will start with the Inset socks by Regia, I know I started these in March.
This was an interesting pattern to knit, even if the socks came out a little big. The hourglass heel and short row toe, had a different method than I had come across before there was two main differences. I will see if I can explain it.

Difference 1. At the start of a row, you slip one, then do a YO, then knit the next stitch. This is instead of doing the wrap and turn at the end of the row. As you normally do in these heels you work on fewer and fewer stitches until there is about one third left.

Difference 2. The other directions that I have seen then have you work outwards from this point, so most of the stitches get two wraps before picking them up. Regia has a different method that I have since adopted for short rows of this type. You work until the middle third of stitches remains then knit and pick up all the wraps, then work outwards doing wrapping the stitches again. This way the stitches only have one wrap and I think gives a nicer edge.
Proof - I used multiple methods on these socks.
Old method - wrapping the stitches twice

One wrap per stitch, you can see how I knit across all the stitches in the dk green colour

Using the one wrap per stitch plus the different wrap technique, gives a nice smooth look on this toe. I tried to do a schematic and it is looking more complicated then it is.

Second, Dad's Diamonds,
These socks were for my Dad's 60th birthday. I changed the pattern on the second so they are were mirrored images.

The yarn was Jawoll Silk (complete details on Rav) and I used the reinforcing thread, on the soles, and up the heel until it ran out.

The reinforcing thread does make for a denser fabric, since it is dyed similar to the main yarn it doesn't affect the stripes (if you know where to look you can see some muting of the colours). I enjoyed working with this yarn and will use it again.

I will leave this post here, and fill you in on the rest of the socks and projects in other posts. Cause by the time I finish all the socks, I am sure Slinky Ribs will be done.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Always be closing

I have two items that can almost be crossed off the WIP list - except that they need some sort of closure.
The Bianca jacket has not had anything done to it in the last month except some flirtations with buttons.

While I was knitting this project I was thinking some nice wood buttons. When the time came to pick out the buttons though - wood looked out of place. Pewter and mother of pearl buttons were out as well. I didn't want anything that was too flashy, to take away from the lace. I narrowed it down to two choices.

The button on the left is made from a shell and this is the wrong side of the button. I am worried that this button may be too fragile - more as a decoration than a button. The button on the left is more substantial, but I think will be too dark overall. I guess it can sit for a few more days.

The second item in the almost FO pile is the Tomten jacket

(Those last few ends have been woven in). I thought this jacket was going to be huge on NB. The sleeves are long, but that is about it. I think the stretchiness in the garter stitch will allow this sweater to be worn for awhile. (At least I hope). I switched the hood to a fold over collar, and picked up one row of stitches along the fronts to give it a more finished look.

A black zipper and this jacket is done.